Thursday, January 15, 2009

California DUI criminal defense lawyers at www.SanDiegoDUI.com

California DUI criminal defense attorneys

On Friday, Jan. 16, the San Fernando Police Department will send a strong message to drunk drivers - "Designated driver or patrol car? Pick your ride." The San Fernando Police Department will conduct a concentration of sobriety checkpoints to deter impaired driving and remove offenders from the roadways on the 500-600 blocks of Glenoaks Boulevard in San Fernando.

"Drinking and driving is a serious crime that can cost you your freedom or even your life," said San Fernando Police Chief Robert Ordelheide. "Motorists should consider this fair warning - if you choose to drink and drive, law enforcement will be looking for you. We are committed to saving lives and will do whatever it takes to take drunk drivers off the road."

Alcohol-related crashes, and the all-too-often tragedies they cause, remain a big problem in California. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has allocated grants to police departments to conduct sobriety checkpoints.

"By funding increased checkpoints and patrols, we in law enforcement have the resources we need to tackle the DUI problem head-on," said Chief Ordelheide. "Our message is clear - drunk driving will not be tolerated."

"State and national studies confirm that sobriety checkpoints contribute to a substantial reduction in alcohol-related crashes in the communities in which they are held. Checkpoints are one of our best strategies to fight DUI and save lives."

The San Fernando Police Department and the Office of Traffic Safety encourage Californians to drink responsibly and use a designated driver." If you see someone driving erratically you are also encouraged to call 9-1-1.

For a fleeting moment we may see it as we drive by on a mountain highway-the crumpled wreck of a car slammed into a tree or into another car-and catch a glimpse of a driver being administered a sobriety test while paramedics load a bloodied victim into an ambulance.

If this grisly scene, though infrequently viewed, can trouble our thoughts for weeks, imagine how it affects the law-enforcement officers called repeatedly to respond to carnage on the road.

Interviews this week with five CHP members stationed at the Running Springs office of the California Highway Patrol show the many ways in which drunk drivers, and the accidents they so often cause, affect them, stirring emotions that range from anger to compassion and sometimes causing physical injury.

Officer Mark Naylor, who investigated the July death of Molly Wolfgang, the last drunk-driving auto accident fatality on the mountain, has an extensive history with drunk-driving crashes, and was the victim of one himself.

It was when he was stationed at the CHP's San Juan Capistrano office more than three years ago that he was in a crash that caused injuries his doctors tell him will never get better, he said.

A man whose blood-alcohol content was later measured at around .3 (nearly four times the legal threshold for intoxication) was in a domestic dispute with his wife when police in Santa Ana were called, he said. When they arrived they found the man in his car, in the driveway. He attempted to drive over his wife, Naylor said, and then backed up and tried to run over some of the officers.

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